Back in May, AutoblogGreen brought us news that Hawaii was in talks with Better Place to set up a network of electric car recharging and batter swapping stations across the islands. Fortune now says that the state has inked a deal with Better Place to put their system in place by 2012.

The agreement is for Better Place to sell electric Nissan Rogues to consumers and, basically, rent the vehicles' batteries by the mile. The company hopes that by taking out the up-front cost of the battery, consumers will be more likely to buy an electric vehicle.

You may remember Better Place from a recent announcement that it will set up a similar network in the Bay Area. That system is also planned for a 2012 launch, which is also the date Better Place plans to flip the switch in Australia, Denmark and Israel. Sounds like somebody's gonna be busy.

Hawaii has some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation. This is one of the steps that the state is taking to reduce its dependence on oil. There's also the chance that beach-seeking tourists will take an island spin in one of the electrified Nissans, go back home and spread the green word.

[Source: Fortune]